When, at the end, the children wanted
to add glitter to their valentines, I said no.
I said nope, no, no glitter, and then,
when they started to fuss, I found myself
saying something my brother’s football coach
used to bark from the sidelines when one
of his players showed signs of being
human: oh come on now, suck it up.
That’s what I said to my children.
Suck what up? my daughter asked,
and, because she is so young, I told her
I didn’t know and never mind, and she took
that for an answer. My children are so young
when I turn off the radio as the news turns
to counting the dead or naming the act,
they aren’t even suspicious. My children
are so young they cannot imagine a world
like the one they live in…
An excerpt from the poem Will You by Carrie Fountain, very much worthy of a full read.
Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 13, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.
For the curious:
Daffodils. (Lacking a nearby field to pluck from, I found these beauties at GRDN.)
The flower frog is from Notary Ceramics.
I’m not a mother or a teacher, but I am a librarian in training and I’ve been spending a lot of time working the youth services desk at my local inner city branch. A branch where the kids are more often than not shades of brown. Where more often than not they whisper in words other than English. Where more often than not mothers don Hijabs and head scarves and smile shyly at us as they piece together the English words to ask a question. The more I watch the news the more I wanna wrap these little ones up in my arms and shelter them from the world outside. Kids I’m getting to know week after week. Kids who ask me to help them find the latest Dog Man or to play Battleship with them or to find the perfect crayon to color in their picture. I want to make it better, but I know I can’t. The best i can do is be there day in and day out, with homework help and crayons and board games and a safety net. The best I can do is make sure they always feel safe within our walls.
It’s hard these days, ya’ll. Sending love to all the caregivers who send their hearts out into the world each and every day.
Poetry usually eludes me. But this one! Very beautiful. I don’t even have kids so the idea of glitter and “suck it up” and innocence is foreign to me and this poem just made my heart warm.
oh, this poem. my heart! thank you for sharing
Such a tender and haunting poem..
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